Friday, March 20, 2015

Colcannon Cakes, or Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

So, St. Patrick's Day is over and you made too much of the colcannon. What are you going to do? Of course, you could just reheat it and eat a meal of leftovers, but what if you've done that already and you still have more? (You seriously made tons! It’s ok…I’ve been there too.) Try these "Colcannon Cakes" instead.

Over dinner my husband and I tried to come up with some fancy name, comparing this "mash-up" of Irish colcannon and Jewish latkes ("colcatcas," latkannon..."). And while the fancy names didn't really work, the food definitely did!

Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. This is a great way to use up leftover colcannon (or regular mashed potatoes, for that matter).

Colcannon Cakes with Lemon Cream
  • 3 cups chilled colcannon
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup flour (*see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Coconut oil, for frying
  • fresh or dried Thyme
Lemon Cream
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

* Note: the consistency of the colcannon varies, depending on how much water you drained out and how much butter you added. If it looks too dry after combining the ingredients, add another egg.  If it's too wet, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the colcannon, cheese, egg, flour, salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add about 1 Tbsp coconut oil.

Drop large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the pan and spread them out slightly.  Cook until they’re golden brown and crispy on both sides.  Add more oil to the pan as needed between batches.  Note: Don’t overcrowd the pan and don’t flip the pancakes too soon or they won’t develop that nice, crisp crust. 

Serve warm with Lemon Cream.  Sprinkle with fresh or dried thyme leaves. 

Lemon Cream

Mix together the Greek yogurt and lemon juice.  Add more of either one to taste.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Authentic Irish Colcannon

I'm very proud of my Irish heritage and a few years ago I had a wonderful opportunity to spend some time in Ireland. While I was there I picked up a great little cookbook that I find myself going back to over and over.  Not only does it have great traditional recipes, but it also gives a brief history of each recipe.

Colcannon is a mash made of white vegetables, typically served at the midday meal. In fact, it was the centerpiece of the traditional harvest dinner, and eating more or less daily.  Colcannon is made from a mixture of raw, white vegetables that are heavily seasoned and layered in a giant saucepan.  Once finished cooking, it would be ladled out in huge servings to the men coming in from the fields, and of course, topped with fresh country butter.  At Halloween, coins are wrapped in foil and buried in the colcannon for children to discover as they eat.

If you're used to a typical St. Patrick's Day dish of Corned Beef and Cabbage, try the Colcannon instead next time. It's definitely worth it, in fact, it's so good you should definitely make it more often than just March 17!

Authentic Irish Colcannon
  • 1 medium-sized head white cabbage
  • 2 medium-sized parsnips
  • 3-4 medium-sized onions
  • 8-10 medium-sized potatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pint water (2 1/2 cups)
  • 4 oz butter (1/2 cup)

Cut cabbage into four, remove stumps and wash each leaf thoroughly in salt and water. Put four or five outer leaves aside, chop the remaining leaves finely.

Wash and scrape parsnips, remove skins from the onions (I also peeled the potatoes). Cut parsnips, onions and potatoes into half inch slices.

Arrange a layer of potatoes on the bottom of a saucepan, cover with a layer or parsnips, then a layer of onion, the a layer of cabbage; season well, continue layering the vegetables and again season well.

Pour water over the vegetables and cover vegetables completely with the outer leaves. Put the lid on the saucepan, bring to the boil and cover; simmer until cooked, 25-30 minutes.

Strain off any excess water. Remove the outer leaves of cabbage. Mash the vegetables well, add the butter and mix well. Put into a serving dish. Serve hot with plenty of creamy butter. Serves 4-6.

St. Patrick's Day Fun - Roundup!

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow and I'm so excited!  Growing up, I don't remember doing a whole lot to celebrate this holiday.  Maybe some green food, definitely wearing green, but that's basically it.  Then when I was in high school, we moved to Butte, MT where St. Patrick's Day is seriously a big deal!  I'm talking big - parties and celebrating go on all week (if not all month!).  Around this time, I also learned that I have a lot of family from Ireland only a couple generations back.

Between that and Pinterest, I absolutely love this holiday, and all the fun and creative ways I can celebrate my Irish heritage.  This year we'll be trying out some fun activities with my two year old as well as eating some fun "green" food during the day, like my "Shamrock" Frittata (yummy, healthy, and green!). For dinner, we'll have a more traditional meal of Corned Beef and Colcannon.  To keep this post from getting too long, I'm posting my authentic Colcannon recipe separately.  Trust me - you're definitely going to want to try it!  It's so good.

In the mean time, check out these awesome ideas to make your St. Patrick's Day totally stellar.

Yummy Treats






Fun Crafts and Activities



Cute Decor





Wednesday, January 28, 2015

White to Bright: A Peacock and Raspberry Living Room, Plus a Few Tips on Color!

Have you heard of Chairish?  I discovered this awesome site a little while ago and totally fell in love.  Chairish is kind of like a Craigslist for designers. Except that it's available to everyone. And it's curated- meaning that you're not going to find junk. Just amazing vintage and designer pieces at great prices.

Chairish has found its way into my rotation of sites I like to browse while daydreaming about my dream house, especially now that I'm in the process of designing and furnishing the house we moved into last summer. Imagine my surprise and delight, then, when I was contacted by the Community Manager at Chairish about participating in this little project.  

The goal: take a room from "white to bright" using one of their rugs from their latest collection as inspiration.  I had a hard time choosing - there are so many beautiful rugs!  But I finally went with this gorgeous Turquoise Overdyed Turkish Patchwork Carpet.  Be sure to check out their whole rug collection here!  
Those of you who know me know that I love color. Seriously, sometimes it seems I can't get enough color in my life. Case in point: I currently have an orange sofa and dark teal chairs in my living room, and I'm in the process of painting my bedroom Pantone's "Moroccan Blue." I'm also working to incorporate greens and yellows into my living room and entry. It looks great, and even more important, it feels good.

We are surrounded by so many beautiful colors in nature.  Next time you are at a farmers' market, or even the produce section at your local grocery store, take a minute to notice all the different and vibrant hues of the fruits and vegetables!  Or picture the bold colors you might find at a Moroccan bazaar– naturally dyed textiles and huge bins of spices.  Color is the spice of life and I love to try and bring those colors and feelings into my designs.  

This living room keeps things relatively clean and modern, while giving off something of a bohemian vibe.  A cozy, lived-in look is achieved by mixing neutrals with bold colors as well as new furnishings with vintage (or vintage-look) finds.  See below for sources (and be sure to check out the great side table and throw pillow I found on Chairish as well!)

Here are some tips for taking your room from white to bright:
  • Keep your large pieces neutral. This is especially good for those of you who are afraid of color. (You know who you are!) Having a neutral base allows you to change out the colors as well as tone down/liven things up more easily .
  • Use something colorful that you love as a jumping off piece.  This could be artwork, a rug, pillow, book cover, your favorite plate, just about anything!
  • Build your room around these neutrals with colorful accents and accessories. If you're feeling particularly daring, add in a piece of accent furniture (table, side chair, etc.) in a key color.
  • Don't forget to mix in different textures along with the color, and throw in a few neutrals here and there to keep things grounded.
  • Choose a wall color last.  It’s a whole lot easier to match paint colors to existing furnishings, than to find furnishings to match a specific paint color.  

Get the Look

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Birdseed" Hot Cereal

So, for my first post of the new year, I decided to go with something healthy.  Try to keep up with those New Years' resolutions, right?  :) 

A few years ago, my aunt created this "Birdseed" Hot Cereal or "Daniel's Pulse" (taken from the Bible story of Daniel and the King's food, in Daniel ch. 1).  Anyway, my aunt was reading about the health benefits of a number of different grains and after reading this scripture, she decided to combine all these grains to make a hot cereal.  

I love this cereal.  It's a great quick breakfast in the morning, that is substantial and leaves you feeling full.  I often make a little extra and knead the leftover cooked cereal into my whole wheat bread for some seriously good seedy-bread.  

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not birdseed that you'd buy at your local home and garden store!   While it may look similar, please don't cook that up for breakfast.  Also note, I'm not a nutritionist, nor is my aunt.  This hot cereal probably won't cure cancer or make your cavities disappear.  It will, however taste yummy, and it just might be a little better for you than certain sugary cereals.  :)  

"Birdseed" Hot Cereal 

  • 1 c. Kamut Khorasan Wheat 
  • ¾ c. Rye 
  • ¾ c. Hulled Barley 
  • ¾ c. Oat Groats 
  • ¾ c. Millet 
  • ¾ c. Quinoa 
  • ¾ c. Spelt 
  • ¾ c. Buckwheat
  • ¾ c. Brown Rice 
  • ½ c. Teff
  • ½ c. Chia Seeds 
  • ½ c. Amaranth 
  • ¼ c. Flax 
  • ¼ c. Poppy Seeds 
  • ¼ c. Sesame Seeds 
  • ¼ c. Hemp Seed 
  • ¼ c. Sunflower Seeds 
  • ¼ c. Pumpkin Seeds 
  • ¼ c. Sorghum (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large storage container.  Mix thoroughly.  

1 serving = ¼ c. of birdseed

To prepare:  Combine ¼ c. birdseed with ¾ c. water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover and let soak overnight.  Reheat in the morning, stirring in any additions (a few drops of almond extract, cinnamon, chopped nuts, dried or fresh fruit, honey/maple syrup, brown sugar, or any other toppings you can think of).

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